The National Credit Union Administration Has Given The Green Light for a New Charter Application for Diverge, a Proposed Federal Credit Union. This New Credit Union Will Improve Access to Affordable Banking Products and Provide a Financial Home for Historically Unbanked People.

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First Step Alliance, a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working on behalf of formerly incarcerated individuals, has been approved as a Membership Association for Diverge.

FORT LEE, N.J., May 25, 2022 — The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has extended its approval for a new charter application for Diverge, a Proposed Federal Credit Union (PFCU), whose mission is to advance economic empowerment for historically marginalized and unbanked communities.

Discrimination in financial services is a significant problem for millions of formerly incarcerated individuals, and especially impacts people of color and women. An unwelcoming financial system forces people to rely on check cashers, payday lenders and other high-cost, non-bank alternatives. Diverge will address systemic discrimination by improving access to affordable products and financial education to help people build long-term financial health.

“I’d like to commend the team behind Diverge PFCU’s charter application. Their concept is an example of true financial inclusion, and it’s also an example of why reforming NCUA’s chartering process is one of my top priorities,” said Kyle S. Hauptman, NCUA Vice Chairman. 

Individuals, businesses, and other organizations can join the proposed new credit union through approved membership organizations, including First Step Alliance, whose membership is broadly open to formerly incarcerated people, their families, and supporters. Future credit union members will be able to access their accounts online and with a mobile banking app, as well as through a large fee-free ATM network. Credit union staff will provide more personalized service by phone and at planned branch locations.

“Justice-involved individuals are frequently shut out of mainstream banking, forcing them to use high-cost, often predatory non-bank providers,” said Nancy Eiden, Founder and Board Chair for First Step Alliance. “Everyone deserves a fair chance to restart their lives, and access to financial services is an integral part of successful reentry.” 

There are several ways individuals and organizations can get involved and show their support for the project:

First Step Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New Jersey committed to charitable and educational causes that help advance successful reentry and sustainable financial independence for justice-involved individuals. First Step Alliance partners with reentry programs, Departments of Corrections, credit unions, and other community organizations to fulfill its mission. For more information, visit and follow First Step Alliance on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Nancy Eiden
[email protected]

SOURCE First Step Alliance